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Vancouver Island Halibut Fishing Trips

 Many people go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after; the peace you can find during fishing is rare. Vancouver Island has many magnificent spots for fishing where you can experience unique trips.

Halibut Fishing on Vancouver Island


Vancouver Island is blessed with some wonderful halibut fishing areas. Prime halibut fishing grounds start in the southern Gulf Islands and run up the west coast of Vancouver Island to Cape Scott, then down the inside waters past Port Hardy to Sayward.
If you're looking for the most accessible destinations for a BC halibut fishing trip, you'll want to look at Vancouver Island.
Port Hardy, Victoria, Juan de Fuca Strait, Queen Charlotte Strait, Port Renfrew, Quatsino Sound, Barkley Sound are the hot spots for halibut fishing that have easy accessibility too.
Vancouver Island's west coast is a mecca for halibut fishing plus, salmon fishing, bottom fishing for different species, and despite cities like Tofino and Ucluelet is that island you shouldn't miss as an angler.
Planning a BC fishing trip to specifically target halibut, we'd suggest a trip to Tofino on Vancouver Island's central west coast of Port Hardy.

Vancouver Island Halibut Habitat 

Halibut are considered one of the strong fish groups and one of the largest bony fish and can migrate long distances. They are native to the north Pacific Ocean. Halibut are consists of demersal fish which means they live and feed so close to the bottom of the water, so catching these large fish shouldn't forget enough fishing line.
The average water temperatures that they prefer to be ranging from 3 (37.4 F°)to 8 (46.4 F°) degrees Celsius. Halibut are the stronger swimmers of the waters and are able to eat different fish like turbot and cod and even crab and shrimp. Their spawning time is during the winter months.

Vancouver Island Halibut Fishing Guides

The Best Halibut Fishing Spots on Vancouver Island

Famous halibut feeding grounds surround Vancouver Island port Renfrew, and over the past 20 years, it has been known as one of the most productive halibut grounds worldwide.
Port Hardy, Bamfield, Victoria, Ucluelet, Tofino, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Quatsino Sound and Barkley Sound are the other spots that you can enjoy halibut fishing.
As you see, halibut can be caught almost anywhere in or around Vancouver Island, including waters with little history of producing fish, but Victoria and the Strait of Juan de Fuca have the most accessible way between the other spots, and you can even have a short single-day trip to explore these aaffluent areas.

The Best time for Halibut Fishing on Vancouver Island

On Vancouver Island's northern tip, there are many wonderful spots for sportfishing through the Spring and Summer months and a favourite destination for halibut anglers. The halibut fishing season on Vancouver Island is mid-May to mid-September, and bottom fishing is good during that entire period.

Best Bait for Halibut Fishing on Vancouver Island

Anglers mostly prefer the whole herring, salmon bellies, and salmon heads fished on circle hooks which improve the survival of released fish, but you have many other choices such as Jigs, octopus, squid and mackerel.
Using fresh baits helps that to stay better and longer on the hook; rotten baits or frozen bait are not useful and can not attract the fish.
Remember that halibut like to take the bait by the head first, so poke the hook through the body of the herring and then out of the head.

Vancouver Island Halibut Fishing Season

Vanisle Fishers

Pacific Halibut Fishing Season

Fishing Vancouver Island Halibut Subspecies

Pacific Halibut

Pacific Halibut, which is in the family of Flounders, is considered the largest species of flatfish. They can grow up to 500 pounds and giant Pacific halibut, sometimes called "barn doors," can attain a length of over 8 feet and a width of over 5 feet.
They are native to the North Pacific Ocean; California Halibut and Atlantic Halibut are the other species of halibut that don't exist off Vancouver Island.
Their large size and tasty meat make them a popular and prized target for both sport and commercial fishermen.
〜〜〜〜〜〜〜〜
✅ Average Length: 50-240 cm (19 - 94 in)
✅ Mouth: large mouth with pointed teeth
✅ Tail: shaped tail
✅ Fresh Water Signs: flat, diamond-shaped body
✅ Other Features: body thick and sturdy, Caudal fin slightly forked

Vancouver Island Halibut Fishing Methods

Generally, the difference between the type of fishing is not really obvious, and they differ in small details. Depend on where you choose to fish and what fishing gadgets you use; there are some fishing divisions like the inshore and offshore, ice fishing, rock fishing; also, you can fish on a kayak, canoe, or boat.

Bottom Fishing for Halibut

The majority of halibut fishermen target the bottom. Sculpins, crabs, and other bottom feeders are less likely to bite if you fish above the water's surface. During the fishing season and at most times of the day, it is a fantastic approach to attract and find various fish species. This approach uses a bucktail jig and several natural lures that drag along the bottom.

Drift Fishing for Halibut

AKA "Back Trolling." Simply drifting with the current or slowing your drift by back trolling with your motor is an excellent method to cover ground. A spreader bar with bait or a power grub arrangement will work well. A swim tail jig or a mud racer jig is another useful technique. You may sometimes improve these jigs by adding bait or a small chamber. Hold the rod with both hands, and some violent bites will yank the rod right out of the hands of an unwary angler.

Trolling Casting for Halibut

Trolling up your halibut is one of the simplest tactics. The location is crucial, since you'll need a sand or gravel bottom to keep your gear from becoming stuck. Trolling these flats or poultry farms may be quite profitable. When it comes to technique, we just lower the cannonball until it makes touch with the ground. The idea is to stay close to the bottom without dragging your gear down with you.

Float Fishing for Halibut

Float fishing is a fun way to capture a variety of fish throughout Vancouver Island, including salmon, halibut, and bass. This salmon fishing technique includes suspending a bait in mid-water beneath a float, and when the float dips below the surface, you know the bait has been taken. Float fishing permits rough and saggy spots to be fished with little chance of snagging because no terminal gear is in touch with the seafloor.

Mooching Fishing for Halibut

Mooching appears to be a no-brainer to the uninformed. Simply tie a plug-cut herring to a pair of tandem hooks on a 7- or 8-foot leader. Tie the leader to a four- to eight-ounce mooching sinker, then drop everything into the water and fish it until a Halibut rings your bell.

Jigging for Halibut

Jigging is a popular strategy for fishermen to capture halibut all year because it closely resembles the bait fish that halibut follow deep in the ocean.

Anchoring for Halibut

One of the most important aspects of halibut fishing is anchoring. With a hefty boat, you'll need a strong anchor arrangement to stay on the bottom; contact your marine store for ideas. Once you've anchored, you'll benefit from not drifting, which reduces the risk of snagging the bottom, as well as the ability to create a broad smell slick from your baits, which will attract halibut from a wide range. If you're anchoring near a pinnacle or drop-off, anchor on the shallow side of the drop-off so that your scent trail drifts from shallow to deeper waters due to the current, wind, and waves.

Protected Fish Species on Vancouver Island

According to the Government of Canada, if you catch any of the Aquatic species listed under the Species at Risk Act and protected by the Fisheries Act, you should immediately remove the hook from it and releasing where you catch it.
If the fish is deeply hooked, hooked around the gills, or bleeding, you should improve its chances for survival by cutting the leader as close to the hook’s eye as possible and releasing it with the hook left in.

Limited Fishing Areas on Vancouver Island

• Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
• Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
• Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
• Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve
• Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve
• Robson Bight Ecological Reserve
• Bowser Ecological Reserve
 • Cleland Island Ecological Reserve
• Clanninick Creek Ecological Reserve
 • Claud Elliott Creek Ecological Reserve
 • Hənʎəmdᶻi Məkola/Yorke Island Conservancy
• Baikie Island Nature Preserve
 • Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve
• Baeria Rocks Ecological Reserve
 • Honeymoon Bay Ecological Reserve
• Yellow Point Bog Ecological Reserve
• Canoe Islets Ecological Reserve
• Ballingall Islets Ecological Reserve
 • Mount Tzouhalem Ecological Reserve
 • Trial Islands Ecological Reserve
 • Race Rocks Ecological Reserve
• Zeballos Lake
• Macktush Creek
 • Craigflower Creek
• Tsolum River
• Hemmingsen Creek
 • Consort Creek
• Thelwood Creek
• Healy Lake
• Colquitz River
• Tlools Lake
• Hawarth Lake
• Claud Elliott Creek
• Nola Lake
• Haslam Creek
• Catherine Creek
• Myra Lake
• Goldstream River
• Carnation Creek
• Miller Creek
• Cruickshank River
• Browns River

Vancouver Island Fish Species

Know Vancouver Island fish species to choose the best place for angling, and all you need to know before fishing on this spectacular island!

 Halibut Fishing Regulation on Vancouver Island

Effective fishing regulations can be a key factor component of healthful fisheries. It contains information about open seasons, recreational fishing licences, fishing methods and, catch limits, as well as up-to-date fishing regulations for diverse fishing areas.

• Using a fishing line to which more than one artificial fly is attached (i.e., to use “dropper flies”) is forbbiden.

• Using light in any way to attract fish except the light is submerged and attached to the fishing line within 1 m of the hook is unlawful.

• It is forbidden to fish with nets, including minnow nets, dip nets, cast nets, or gill nets.

• Using barbed hooks or any hook with more than one point in all rivers, streams, creeks, or sloughs in B.C is prohibited. (Although the use of barbed hooks in lakes is allowed except the one noted in the Regional Water-Specific Tables).

Fishing Tips on Vancouver Island

• Keep boat launch areas clear to give all boaters equal access. Prepare your boat for launching away from the ramp to avoid creating unnecessary delays.
• Don’t try boating and alcohol. You will need your complete reflexes to keep you, your boat, and other stream users safe. It’s unlawful to operate a boat while impaired.
• Limit your speed (particularly when getting into corners) to keep away from collisions with other boaters, anglers, swimmers, and hidden obstacles. Respect the Universal Shoreline Speed Restriction of 10 k.ph within 30 metres of the shore.
• Be careful when boating at dawn and dusk and in other conditions of limited light or visibility.
• Refrain from running your boat through water being fished by way of others. Go slowly or drift by anglers along the shoreline. Be considerate of others.
• Avoid sensitive habitats such as spawning areas, shallow water, and wildlife nesting or foraging areas.
• Give animals crossing the river the space and time to do so. It’s unlawful to harass wildlife with a boat.
• Pack out your garbage. Old fishing lines, litter, fuel, and oil damage fish habitat, endanger aquatic life and reduce water quality.

Customized Fishing/Crabbing Trip on Vancouver Island


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Vancouver Island Halibut Fishing Common Question

Although the whole of the Island is amazing for halibut fishing Port Hardy and Port Renfrew are the most popular spots among the others.
Halibut fishing season is so long on Vancouver Island, and this amazing fishing opportunity starts from late winter to early fall each year.
Vancouver Island offers Halibut fishing both high and low slack tide when the movement of the water is in the lowest state and suitable for catching these large fish.
Salmon bellies Salmon heads and herrings are the best baits that you can use for halibut fishing.
 Anchoring and drifting. The most successful way to capture halibut is to drop an anchor and hold a position. If you're drifting, maintain your lines straight up and down; a skilled guide will be backing the boat into the tide or wind to limit your drift. 
Circle hooks with the size of 16/0 can fit 10-pound halibut.
The halibuts are usually profound offshore waters where it feeds at depths between 180 ft (54.86 m) and 3608.92 ft (1,100 m) and can even be found lower than this.
Halibut prefer to live near the bottom of the ocean, usually at depths of around 40–80 feet (12–24 m), and hardly will they be found below 120 feet (36.6 m) (36 m).
Deepwater fishery, in most areas, is from 250 to 350 feet, also same for halibut fishing on Vancouver Island.

Share your angling experience or halibut fishing journey on Vancouver Island with us!